We have been to Alaska numerous times but are thinking about taking a different route this year. We always go up to Montana & cross the border at Coutts, but are considering going up via Saskatchewan, crossing at North Portal. There is no particular reason for the change in route other than seeing new scenery. Any pros or cons to this route would be appreciated. Thanks for your input.
Mac & Becky
Seeing North America one mile at a time
2006 42' Allegro Bus towing a 2011 Cadillac SRX
2011 F350 6.7L Crew Cab FX4 & 2005 Holiday Rambler Alumascape for Alaska trips
I highly recommend the trip through Saskatoon. If you do go that way I would recommend going through Moose Jaw and tour the tunnels that are under the streets in the center of town. There are 2 sets - one was used by Al Copone to bottle the booze he shipped to the US and the other was used to house the Chinese while the railroad was being built.
Then you could go through Edmonton, Alberta and stop off at the West Edmonton Mall. In 2005 it was billed as the largest mall in the world - don't know how it compares now. It is a vacation destination for people because of the amusement park, submarine, and swimming pool with multiple slides that are located inside the mall. Well worth the trip.
Lonnie and Sue
2007 HR Ambassador 40'
2008 Chevy Colorado Z71 4x4 Crew Cab
West Texas, Retired
Fulltimers. No more grass to cut, no more leaves to rake, and can move if we don't like our neighbors.
States we spent time in, drive throughs not marked.
You would have the choice of Highway 1 to Calgary or going north to Saskatoon then 16 (Yellowhead) to Edmonton.
Highway 1 is definitely prairie but as stated does offer the choice of sidetrips to the Cypress Hills & or Drumheller with its Royal Tyrell Museum & badlands.
Highway 16 is still Prairie but with a little more relief. Saskatoon is a nice city and if you are into old equipment museums this one could be interesting.
Closer to Edmonton there is the Ukranian Cultural Village
Do you have any specific interests?
Since you have been up through Coutts a couple of times, you may want to consider going on farther west to Missoula Montana and head north. This would have you crossing at Roosville, a nice small border crossing. Lots of great scenery on this way, puts you on the west side of the major mountains. Radium Hot Springs is a fun visit, as in Kootenay NP close to town. Last summer we stayed at the Red Streak Campground in the NP and were pleased with it. Then either go east toward Banff NP and on north up the Ice fields parkway. I prefer to go north, out of Radium HS to Golden and cut east through Yoho NP, spending a day or two at Kicking Horse CG just outside the town of Field BC.
Nothing wrong with the prairie provinces, but for an Okie, it would be a lot like driving to Hydro Oklahoma and looking at miles of wheat. It is fun to stop my car, in that country and get out, realizing I am the tallest thing in 40 miles, except for the grain silo in the far distance. LOL The Tyrell Dino museum gets another vote as a "must" stop. Our last half day stop there turned into a 3 day visit.
Formerly of Colorado and Alaska
Chevy 3500 DRW Dmax CC - Rockwood 8281 SS 5th Whl & 2008 Lance 845 TC www.pajbcooper.com web site
Alaska Trip 2011 posted
Colo-Utah-Ariz 2012 trip posted
"Without challenge, adventure is impossible".
Bob, it was good the last time we went that way in 2009. Previous time, 2006, it was a construction mess. Hwy 93 is a two lane road and during the week, I have never seen much traffic on it, weekends can get a bit busy with folks heading up to the lakes for the weekend. We have stayed at the KOA up between Kalispell and Whitefish, real nice place. Last summer we stayed at the Spruce Campground on the River, in kalispell, then went on west into Idaho before crossing the border at Kingsgate. We wanted to run up the interior of BC which we had never done and ride as many of the BC ferry boats as we could find. Beautiful way to go as well. Normally I don't go that far west on the way up, but return by the way of Bellingham Washington but down the Fraser Valley.
We were trying to see how many of the hot springs as well in BC.
Once in Western Alberta (if you go that way) I highly recommend The Icefields Parkway Between Banff and Jasper, one of the most scenic drives in the world.
You get to walk or ride a modified bus on a real glacier at the interpretive centre. Do not refuel at Saskatchewan River Crossing!
Once in Jasper you have the choice of going East on Hwy 16, aka The Yellowhead, to Hwy 43 and North through Grande Prairie to Dawson Creek, or West on Hwy 16 to Prince George to Hwy 97 North to Dawson Creek.